Chris and I discovered something really wonderful recently. As Ava is growing and maturing and learning the ways of the world, we can use her newly found worldly knowledge to our personal advantage. Ava is learning the value of money. This has been slow coming. Up until about six months ago Ava couldn’t give a shit whether she had a penny in her piggy bank or a hundred dollar bill. She probably just figured that if she really wanted something, which she didn’t very often, she would just get her loving parents to buy it for her. And she was right.
Well, not so fast little 2nd grade girl! Materialism is catching on to that red-headed child of mine and she now wants to purchase useless stuff like fairy statues to clutter the shelves of her bookcase and dresser.
Enter her parents. Now that Ava is interested in buying things she will need some money. Now that she needs some money I will make her my personal slave. Okay, I am exaggerating (kind of). Chris and I have been putting that child to work around this house like the wicked stepmother did in Cinderella (oh now I am really exaggerating), and it is paying off for us, as well as Ava.
The best and most helpful chore that Ava does is shower her siblings. How this works is that she gets in the shower and one at a time (sometimes two at a time), Ava shampoos, conditions and soaps the triplets. I must say that she does a superior job. When she has done all three kids, she works on herself. The process takes about half an hour. I cannot tell you what a beautiful wonderful thing this is. For this act of cleansliness, she earns herself a dollar. I originally offered her 50 cents and she countered with $1.50 and I counter-offered with $1.00 at which point we came to a deal.
The other thing Ava does for money is clean the playroom. As you can imagine, the playroom in our house turns in to a bottomless pit of toys, stickers, pen, crayons, and basic junk spread haphazardly all over the ground. I make all four kids clean the playroom, but lets face it, Ava does the brunt of the work. She is the only one who earns money by cleaning though.
Elsa is very willing to help out around the house. She is usually the first one to jump in and start on chores and cleaning up without complaining. Note: she is the only one without red hair if you catch my drift (none of the “s” words apply like stubborn, sassy, strong-willed).
Preston will make the hugest mess around the house because he is a major hoarder, but he is totally unwilling to clean up after himself. The ironic thing is that his room is always spotless. He doesn’t care about the general public areas of the house, but he always wants his own room picked up. One day not too long ago Ava and her male play date had built an elaborate train track system complete with bridges and tunnels and little wooden men holding signs. When Preston went in to his room and discovered his floor covered with train tracks and trains, he did what no other boy would do, he FREAKED out. He screamed that someone needs to come and clean this mess up NOW. His face got really red and he huffed and puffed. When no one rushed in to his room immediately to clean up the beautiful train track system that was built, he began cleaning it himself. From the next room I could hear the loud sound of train tracks being tossed with disdain in to their train table drawers to resume collecting dust.
Violet does not pick up a single damn thing around the house, in the playroom or her bedroom. She has sat in many a time-outs for not participating, and she does not care. It is maddening and I have come to realize that this is just her personality.
In a few years I plan on cutting my household workload down significantly. One day — and I dream about this day and when I say that I am being completely serious — I envision Chris and I finishing our dinner, bringing our dishes to the sink out of respect and taking our glasses of red wine to the couch while our kids do the dishes.
But for now I shall put on those sexy purple rubber gloves and get out my bacteria-infested sponge, open my dishwasher and get the job done.
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Until next time, the mothership is signing off.